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Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

Suicide prevention is an important subject to consider year-round, however September is Suicide Prevention Awareness month, a chance to really focus and dedicate our time to shedding light on this difficult topic. We need to hold open and honest discussions about mental health issues and suicide, because talking about it can prevent a suicide from happening.

Many people feel suicide is a topic that should be kept in the dark, not discussed, and just avoided. However, discussing the topic and holding those tough conversations around mental health and substance abuse is what can prevent someone from taking suicidal actions. Untreated mental conditions and substance abuse can both lead to suicide, so encouraging someone with various mental health symptoms to seek help can save their life. Our goal is making sure that anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts, mental health conditions, or substance abuse behavior knows that they can reach out to Aspire Counseling Services.

It is important for everyone to know the warning signs of suicide, so that they can help prevent tragedy by encouraging those individuals to reach out and talk to a professional, like the counselors at Aspire Counseling Services. Since 1999, suicide rates have increased by 35%. In 2018 there were more than 48,000 lives lost to suicide. The pandemic has made the numbers skyrocket and it will be a while before we know the true devasting numbers for the past two years. The goal is preventing these tragedies from occurring, so knowing the warning signs is key.

Suicidal Warning Signs

  • Thoughts and comments about suicide
    • These may start as subtle comments, such as “nothing matters”, ‘life sucks”, and “I wish I wasn’t here”, then develop into more direct and explicit comments, such as “I wish I was dead”, and “I want to kill myself”.
  • Increased substance use behavior
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Withdrawal from family, friends, and social events
  • Dramatic mood swings
  • Impulsive or reckless behavior

These warning signs are a signal to family and friends that something is seriously wrong. Talking calmly and openly with them about what they are feeling, asking if they are considering suicide, and expressing non-judgmental support and concern are all keys to discussions that could save their life. It is important to not argue or debate whether suicide is right or wrong, and to not yell or threaten, but to show patience and understanding for how they are feeling. Encourage them to seek professional help from Aspire Counseling Services and help them to schedule their same day appointment.

Emergency Suicidal Behaviors (Immediate Help Needed by a Counselor or 911)

  • Collecting or saving pills
  • Buying a weapon
  • Giving away valued possessions
  • Tying up loose ends (organizing personal documents/paying off debt)
  • Saying goodbye to family and friends

Understand that some of the above behaviors could be normal, but if there is any awkwardness or an alarm bell is going off in your head when someone is exhibiting this behavior, then don’t ignore that alarm, call 911 or take them to a counselor immediately.

Aspire Counseling Services provides Mental Health Services and Behavioral Health Services for teens and adults. If someone you love is struggling from mental health symptoms, or experiencing substance abuse, then reach out to Aspire Counseling Services for help. We want to help your loved ones regain control and live happy and healthy lives.

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